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  • Author: Cédric Jourde
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Until recently, the Sahel (as-Sahil), literally the “shore” of the Saharan “sea,” rarely made headlines. Nevertheless, the expanding nexus of illicit trafficking and transnational Islamist terrorism—and the increasingly serious risk this poses to stability in the region and to international security—is attracting growing attention. These concerns will likely mount as al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) attempts to use the window of opportunity presented by the Arab Spring to reestablish itself in North Africa while transitional governments there devote much of their energy to rebuilding state institutions. In turn, an unstable North Africa, especially Libya, could further exacerbate insecurity in the Sahel as unsecured weapons and trained mercenaries filter their way into the region.
  • Topic: Security, Crime, Narcotics Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Africa, Libya, Arabia, Mauritania
  • Author: Elise Ford
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: East Africa is facing the worst food crisis of the 21st Century. Across Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya, 12 million people are in dire need of food, clean water, and basic sanitation. Loss of life on a massive scale is a very real risk, and the crisis is set to worsen over the coming months, particularly for pastoralist communities.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Humanitarian Aid, United Nations, Food
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, Ethiopia, Somalia
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: 'Coaching and mentoring for capacity' has become a popular approach to civil servant capacity building in fragile states. in South Sudan, the 'IGAD initiative' is currently deploying 200 coaches and mentors to South Sudan from Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. this brief recaps on some main tenets of the initiative and presents a number of policy recommendations.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Sovereignty, Governance, Self Determination
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Kenya, Africa, Ethiopia, South Sudan
  • Author: Debbie Hillier
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: East Africa is facing the worst food crisis of the 21st Century. Across Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya, over 12 million people are in dire need of food, clean water, basic sanitation and shelter. Suffering and death are already happening on a massive scale, and the situation will worsen over the coming months.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Humanitarian Aid, Food, Famine
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, Ethiopia, Somalia
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: En dépit d\'une nette amélioration, la situation de la Côte d\'Ivoire reste fragile. Le transfèrement à La Haye de l\'ancien président Laurent Gbagbo inculpé par la Cour pénale internationale (CPI), douze jours seulement avant les élections législatives du 11 décembre 2011, a alourdi l\'atmosphère politique. Au lendemain de ces élections marquées par une très forte abstention, le pays est toujours exposé à de sérieuses menaces. La faiblesse et le déséquilibre de l\'appareil de sécurité et l\'exercice d\'une justice à deux vitesses confortent les extrémistes dans leurs convictions et constituent les deux principaux défis que le pouvoir doit relever dans les prochains mois. Si le vote s\'est déroulé dans le calme, la campagne qui l\'a précédé a été marquée par des incidents qui ont rappelé que la violence politique est toujours d\'actualité. L\'installation d\'une nouvelle Assemblée marque une nouvelle étape dans la normalisation, mais le pays n\'est pas pour autant sorti de l\'ornière.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Corruption, Government, Law
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Despite a marked improvement, the situation in Côte d'Ivoire remains fragile. The transfer to The Hague of former President Laurent Gbagbo – indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) – only twelve days before the parliamentary elections of 11 December 2011, has stoked political tensions. After a vote characterised by low turnout, the country remains deeply divided and still faces grave threats. The weakness and imbalance of the security apparatus and the two-tiered justice system, both of which reinforce the convictions of extremists, are the two main challenges the government must overcome in the months ahead. Although voting itself was peaceful, an electoral campaign marred by incidents serves as a reminder that political violence is still an everyday reality. The installation of a new Assembly marks a further step towards normalisation, but the country has yet to escape trouble.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The failure of President François Bozizé and his close circle to follow through with many of the concessions agreed on during the Inclusive Political Dialogue risks exacerbating the many conflicts in the Central African Republic (CAR) and stalling national reconciliation. Those December 2008 talks made a valuable contribution to both reducing levels of violence and shaping the long-term reform agenda. The promised integration of rebel leaders into civilian political life, the precedent of decision-making by consensus and a concrete set of agreements that included rebel disarmament and security sector reform were welcome steps towards greater stability. To ensure these gains are not undone by another political crisis, however, the president must abandon the uncompromising attitude he displayed through much of 2009 and the government must quickly resolve new conflicts in the north east and prepare credible elections. Otherwise, donors should suspend financial support to a regime that is largely dependent on foreign aid.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Political Violence
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: As Zimbabwe enters its second year under a unity government, the challenges to democratic transformation have come into sharp focus. Despite reasonable progress in restoring political and social stability, ending widespread repression and stabilising the economy since February 2009, major threats could still derail the reform process. In particular, resistance of intransigent and still powerful security sector leaders and fractious in-fighting between and within the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU-PF) and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) must be addressed now. South Africa and other countries in southern Africa – who monitor the accord that guides the transition – must press the parties, and particularly President Robert Mugabe, to see the transition through to a successful conclusion. Donors should back their efforts.
  • Topic: Security, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa, Zimbabwe
  • Author: Emile LeBrun
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Small Arms Survey
  • Abstract: Eastern Equatoria state (EES) is one of the most volatile and conflict-prone states in Southern Sudan. An epicentre of the civil war ( 1983 – 2005 ), EES saw intense fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), as well numerous armed groups supported by both sides, leaving behind a legacy of landmines and unexploded ordnance, high numbers of weapons in civilian hands, and shattered social and community relations.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Ethnic Conflict, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Author: Ingrid Samset
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: On 28 May 2010, the United Nations Security Council made a critical decision on the future of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Monuc) – the largest and most costly such operation in the world. The Council decided to reduce the number of peacekeepers by 2,000, and to transform Monuc into a stabilisation force, renamed Monusco.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Civil War, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations
  • Author: Dominique Djindjéré
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Africa's senior defense and security officials must adopt higher standards of leadership to reshape Africa's security forces into professional bodies capable of handling contemporary security threats and earning the respect of civilian populations. Politicians' adherence to constitutional limits on power will avoid placing military officers in the untenable position of choosing between respecting civilian authority and upholding democracy. Security cooperation and assistance from international partners should favor African states with a track record of responsible governance within the security sector.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Erin A. Weir
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Chad hosts over 249,000 refugees from the Darfur conflict and 168,000 internally displaced persons who were relocated after instability caused by Chadian rebel groups. The U.N. Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad has been reduced to 1,900 as of October 15, 2010. It will withdraw completely by December 31, 2010. There are concerns about the capacity of the Chadian security forces to adequately protect the population.The government of Chad and the international community must work to ensure the security of the population and humanitarian workers.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, United Nations
  • Author: Dorina Bekoe
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: On May 20, 2010, USIP and the International Peace Institute brought together some of Chad's national, regional and international stakeholders to discuss Chad's democratization, the regional security dynamics and the management of the oil sector.Electoral reform, as called for in Chad's 2007 "August 13 Political Agreement," has been poorly implemented, endangering the credibility of the upcoming February legislative elections. Improvements in regional security prompted the Chadian government to request the departure of the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT), which was charged with securing and providing humanitarian relief along the Chad-Central African Republic border. However, many question if Chadian forces can fill the security gap. Oil exports have significantly increased Chad's budget, with most of these gains being invested in the military. The improved regional security provides an opportunity to invest in sectors such as education, health care, and development, which have been neglected.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Oil
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Ruben de Koning
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: The political economy of mining in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is central to sustaining the conflict in the east of the country. Transforming it is a priority in order to alleviate the conflict and suffering that it fuels. In an attempt to ensure that conflict minerals—minerals sourced from militia controlled mines—do not enter the legal supply chain, industrial actors, the Congolese Government and outside donors have established schemes to trace minerals such as cassiterite and coltan back to the mines of origin.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Corruption, Political Economy, Poverty, Natural Resources, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Author: Christine Lynch, Devon Tucker, Michael Harvey, Jacqueline McLaren Miller
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: Drawing on a diverse array of opinions from Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America, the EastWest Institute's Fifth Worldwide Security Conference brought together specialists from the spheres of policy, academia, and civil society. Participants addressed a variety of issues on the contemporary global security landscape. These ranged from specific security threats (whether illicit trade, the targeting of critical infrastructure or cyber crime) to the role of interested actors (such as business, NGOs, and media), as well as a focus on potential strategies to counter terrorism and extremism (either in terms of constructing global cooperative architectures or, more controversially, the possibility of opening dialogue with the terrorists). A variety of policy recommendations emerged from each session—detailed in the main body of the report—but there were several recurring themes binding the debate together and animating the core arguments of proceedings as a whole. These policy recommendations were not necessarily consensus recommendations but reflected a wide range of debated policy prescriptions.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Economics, Education, Globalization, Human Rights, International Security, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Asia, North America
  • Author: Claire Spencer
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: North Africa may not be as stable as it looks: socio-economic and political pressures are fracturing the consensus between governments and governed and may overtake terrorism and criminality as the region's main destabilizing forces. With political leadership in the region effectively a lifelong position, the growth of authoritarianism is undermining the prospects for achieving political and economic liberalization. Despite the worsening global economic climate, a window of opportunity exists to accelerate socially sensitive and productive domestic investment and open space for greater autonomous political and economic development. Success depends on renegotiating the social contracts on which North Africa's states are based. A broadening of participation, above all through the extension of legal employment, targeted investment on education, health and skills, and the establishment of independent legal and regulatory frameworks, will go some way towards addressing socio-economic stresses. A change in the political environment, however, requires a re-evaluation of how the region's security climate is seen from outside, with adjustments in the kind of support given to regional governments by its key international partners, the European Union and the United States.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Islam, International Security
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The assassinations of the chief of defence staff, General Batista Tagme Na Wai, on 1 March 2009 and Presi- dent Joao Bernardo Nino Vieira early the next day have plunged Guinea-Bissau into deep uncertainty. National Assembly Speaker Raimundo Pereira was quickly sworn in as interim president pending the election the constitution requires. That the killings occurred only months after the acclaimed November parliamentary elections, however, indicates that, in current circumstances, the democratic process cannot cope with the rule of the gun, as well as the extent to which the military's use of force has overwhelmed state institutions. Without outside help to end military involvement in politics and impunity, it may be impossible to halt a slide into further violence. Elites need to stand up to the military, but they require support. The international community should work for an international or hybrid commission of inquiry into the killings. Security system reform needs to be improve d by better international coordination and creation of a national commission with enhanced autonomy.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Political Violence
  • Political Geography: Africa, Guinea-Bissau
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The semi-autonomous north-eastern Somali region of Puntland, once touted as a success of the “building blocks” approach to reestablishing national stability and widely viewed as one of the most prosperous parts of Somalia, is experiencing a three-year rise in insecurity and political tension. At its roots are poor governance and a collapse of the intra-clan cohesion and pan-Darood solidarity that led to its creation in 1998. Intra-Darood friction has eroded the consensual style of politics that once underpinned a relative stability. The piracy problem is a dramatic symptom of deeper problems that, left untreated, could lead to Puntland's disintegration or overthrow by an underground militant Islamist movement. A solution to the security threat requires the Puntland government to institute reforms that would make it more transparent and inclusive of all clans living within the region.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia, Puntland
  • Author: Myriam Benraad
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Last month, Kamal Hassan, a Somali-American living in Minnesota, pled guilty to training and fighting with al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group in Somalia. In July, two other Somali-Americans in Minnesota pled guilty to similar charges, with the FBI continuing to investigate more than a dozen others who may have traveled from the United States to Somalia. The FBI also recently arrested seven individuals in North Carolina on terrorism-related charges, including one who had spent time in Afghan training camps. These and other recent events have raised new concerns in the United States about the threat of homegrown radicalization.
  • Topic: Security, Crime, Terrorism, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Africa, Europe, Washington, North Carolina
  • Author: Joel Negin, Jolyon Ford
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: Zimbabwe's long night is by no means over. Nearly a year after the violent and disputed March 2008 elections, and months after the September signing of a 'Global Political Agreement' with the ruling ZANU-PF party, the main faction of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) agreed in February to take part in a coalition government in which its leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, became Prime Minister. The state apparatus in Zimbabwe is currently shared uneasily by reformers and reactionaries with each of the MDC and ZANU-PF having half of the cabinet seats. Hardline ZANU-PF elements remain in government and control the security services, and a quiet but intense power struggle continues.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Development, Foreign Aid, Food
  • Political Geography: Africa, Australia, Zimbabwe